What a day Friday was! My Italian food trip began with a decidedly international flavor. A terrible delay leaving Philadelphia on Thursday night (thank you, US Airways) meant missing my connection in Frankfurt. Which meant four flight legs instead of the three originally on my nutty itinerary.
But I made the best that I could of the situation. I had lunch in Frankfurt — currywurst, pommes frites and a Bitburger (the beer in honor of my Dad). Not the best currywurst ever, but still enjoyable. Followed by a late-afternoon snack in Paris — wine, of course, and a molten chocolate cake (Erica, that one was for you, ha!). And I finished with 10 p.m. lasagna bolognese in Chianti. Food in three European countries in one day… not too shabby.
After a great night’s sleep it was fantastic to wake on Saturday and see where I had landed — at a beautiful hilltop inn literally surrounded on all sides by vineyards. The grapes hang heavy, as it is nearly harvest time.
The supreme irony to me is that here we are on the foodie trip of a lifetime, and the building closest to our inn is the Olive Garden’s famous (you’ve seen it on the TV advertisements, I know) school where they send their top American chefs! Ha!
We’ve just returned from the Saturday market in Greve. A smorgasbord of shopping that winds from the main piazza down several narrow streets. You can buy everything from huge, fresh porcini mushrooms and local pecorino cheeses to shoes that cost 10 euros to wild undergarments that cost even less!
Lunch was wine of course (I had a delicious Tuscan white — didn’t realize there was such a thing) and a selection of salads and pizzas. The pizza was baked in a wood-fired oven and the crust was as thin as the thinnest cracker I’ve ever eaten. While I love Chicago deep dish style as much as the next person, the toppings certainly starred in these Italian versions. My favorite pie was one with porcinis, fresh tomatoes and sausage.
When I’m finished with this post it’s time for a stroll then perhaps a nap on a chaise overlooking the vineyards. Our first cooking class is at 5 p.m. Ciao, y’all!